Even the most organized among us can find ourselves in need of one or two last minute gift purchases this time of year. If you are like me, it might be closer to five or six. There are a number of people on my present list this year that spend a good bit of time in the kitchen and I thought I would share a few of the gift ideas I had in mind.
Counter space is a precious commodity in even the most spacious kitchen. Finding alternate storage options for tools that clutter most kitchen surfaces not only leads to more work space but often leads to a cleaner and visually more appealing room. One of the most common eyesores in every kitchen is the knife block that came with that set of knives you registered for or received as a hand me down back in college. This counter clutter can be replaced by a number of options but one I find to be most efficient and truly out of sight is this in-drawer model designed by cook book author Michael Ruhlman. It holds every possible cutting instrument in one drawer so you will always know where to turn when something sharp is required and it might even give you reason to clean out the junk drawer that still has a set of keys to that car you sold mixed in with some indiscriminate coins from trips to Mexico and beyond.
From epicurious.com to e-cookbooks, the iPad has found its way into many a kitchen. I can speak from personal experience that cooking and expensive electronics lead to the occasional close call and undue stress in what should be a relaxing endeavor. People have come out with almost every possible solution to this problem and a number have merit but I find the easy-to-move-around-the-
The first time I saw a chef using giant tweezers to plate food I thought it had to be the most chef-indulgent over-thought gadgetry to date. A short time later I was at home taking some perfectly grilled scallops of the grill and as the tongs removed large patches of the glaze I had worked so hard on I thought maybe a tool with a much smaller surface area really does have some merit, not to mention it would help me avoid squishing scallops in my hurry to get them off in a timely manner. There are a lot of places to buy these oversized tweezers but A.G. Russell offers a pair with the best folding kitchen knife I have ever scene. If your chef is into cooking and travel this might be the gift for them.
Sometimes you just want a good greasy spoon-style burger or you want to get some nice grill marks on a chicken breast but have no desire to fire up the grill. Enter the cast iron griddle. I think this might be one the most useful and important additions to any kitchen. From getting a crusty sear on a couple porterhouses, to the crispiest quesadilla, this is all you need. And who better to make your griddle than Lodge, the masters of cast iron cookware.
I hope you find these ideas helpful – feel free to respond with any of your last minute gift ideas for the culinary-minded recipient.